Category Five Hurricane Patricia, with maximum sustained winds of 325 kilometers (200 miles) per hour, is moving toward Mexico’s Pacific coast on Friday, and the country is bracing for a potential catastrophe.
The hurricane is expected to make a landfall somewhere between the major port of Manzanillo in Colima state and Jalisco state’s tourist resort of Puerto Vallartlater later Friday.
AFP reported that Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told Radio Formula that, “It’s a devastating hurricane, the biggest since we can record hurricanes, and this is why we have to take extreme precautions.”
The US National Hurricane Center said on its website that Patricia was, “the strongest hurricane on record in the National Hurricane Center’s area of responsibility which includes the Atlantic and the eastern North Pacific.
The authorities are conducting evacuations, closing ports and school as the storm surge is expected to cause coastal flooding around the center of the landfall.
The National Water Commission said that Jalisco, Michoacan, Colima and Nayarit are expected to get the equivalent of 40 percent of their annual rainfall in the next 48 hours.